Furman University is mourning the death of longtime faculty member Vincent J. Hausmann, who passed away Jan. 9 after a protracted illness.
Hausmann, an associate professor of English, had taught at Furman since 1999 and was recognized as one of the top teachers in the English Department and the humanities. He received the university’s Alester G. Furman Jr. and Janie Earle Furman Award for Meritorious Teaching in 2015, and left his impact on many students.
“Dr. Hausmann is no small part of why I attended Furman in the first place,” said Katie Conyers, who graduated from Furman in 2010 with a degree in Spanish and political science. “I took a summer course with him before my senior year of high school that left the deepest impression on me. I have never met anyone like him, before or since. His razor-sharp intellect, kindness, sense of humor and genuine devotion to learning—for himself, from us and everywhere else—made his classes the most profound academic experiences I have ever had.”
Lauren McCarter, an English major who graduated from Furman in 2011, said she signed up for every class taught by Hausmann.
“It wasn’t just because I was an English major,” she said. “It wasn’t because of the subjects—the books or the movies—and there were certainly easier classes taught by easier professors. But Dr. Hausmann didn’t earn the passion and favor of his students by going easy on us. He enjoyed teaching because he felt he learned as much in the classroom as his students. He was a great teacher because he could take something seemingly silly or trivial and challenge us to find deeper meaning. Dr. Hausmann was our friend and our mentor. He will live on in the way we think, in the way we see the world around us, and I am grateful for the time I spent in his classroom.”
Hausmann was instrumental in establishing Furman’s Film Studies minor, which he chaired, and he played a crucial role in transforming the concentration in Women’s Studies into the present Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies minor. He was also active in Furman’s CLP program, where his work gave significant visibility and intellectual respectability to LGBTQ issues.
Respected for his courses in contemporary cultural, psychoanalytic and queer theories, Hausmann was well known for preparing students for graduate study both in and outside programs in English literature. He was an advocate for students seeking careers in the arts, media and teaching, and provided his students with life-altering perspectives on the world and themselves.
He was co-editor of The Bryn Mawr Review of Comparative Literature from 1989 until his passing and author of Cinema, Technologies of Visibility, and the Reanimation of Desire (Palgrave 2011). He also wrote essays for top film studies journals, including the internationally respected Camera Obscura, which published two of his articles.
Furman English professor Nick Radel is looking into the possibility of establishing a scholarship or lectureship in memory of Hausmann. Anyone interested in donating to the memorial can contact Radel at 864-294-2795 and email@example.com.